As we are all aware, the expansion of internet use is prolific. In 2013, 72% of adults bought goods or services online, showing a marked increase from 53% in 2008. When people search for a product, service or solution, they generally use search engines and browse several websites. Employing attractive graphics, easy to read typography, sympathetic colours and styles entices visitors, but these factors are not the only considerations that should be addressed when producing a well-designed website.
A leading design strategist cited: ‘For those who think that design means to make things pretty: first, design should be empathetic to the problems of others. Second, it should solve these problems in a creative way so that it drives value for everyone involved.’ Thus when designing a website it is important to consider what the needs and problems of patients might be. By addressing these problems it is possible to add value to your website; confidence in a solution that in turn, enhances the reputation and productivity of the practice.
Dental practices therefore need a website which not only reflects their expertise and professionalism and also addresses patients’ needs. It is not just about advertising services but about providing knowledge and engaging with the emotions of patients to provide solutions.
This can be achieved with a range of interesting and interactive strategies such as treatment videos, links, blogs and forums to provide improved knowledge and a better understanding of the options available.
Additionally when patient testimonials are incorporated on websites, it enables prospective patients to read about the experiences of others, and delivers the emotional elements, which lead to the motivation needed to impact on their decisions.
The whole picture
Although the layout and composition is important it is vital to consider the design of a website as a whole. Taking this holistic approach to design ensures that both function and form are reflected and combined successfully. A modern website must incorporate familiar actions, be easy to navigate and enable visitors to easily locate and identify information quickly. Similarly, as technology moves on it is crucial to stay in touch with advancing online trends. Access to the internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2013, from 24% to 53%. If a patient comes across a website on a mobile device but the site has been not designed to be rendered in this way and is slow and clumsy, they will simply look elsewhere.
Employing the services of industry experts, such as Dental Focus ‘Digital Marketing Specialists’ will allow you to design a website that is more than just a pretty typeface. They will have all the knowledge and expertise you need to enhance and advance the online presence of your practice to increase your patient base and expand your business. The experienced team at Dental Focus have a true understanding of design to ensure that your website is innovative, fully fit for purpose, effective and operational as well as attractive.
A successful and well-designed website is a development of ideas melded together to produce a combination of function and aesthetics. It should draw attention, answer questions, solve problems, encourage a decision and convert visitors into patients who are confident about their choices. Everything must fit together in harmony to build and grow the business.
Adrian Adler looks after the Dental Focus brand and the company’s strategic and marketing communications. An expert in online and offline marketing, Adrian is dedicated to helping practices build their individual brands that resonate and connect emotionally with patients. www.dental-focus.com